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Sep 17 8:09 AM

Joy Through Contentment

Sep 17 8:09 AM
Sep 17 8:09 AM

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Philippians 4:10-12

 

Today, I want to talk to you about something that every commercial will find aggravating, every advertiser will be upset with, and every company that's trying to sell you something will not like. We live in a world that is constantly promoting itself and its products, so that you will be discontented. Today I want to talk to you about contentment. Contentment is the feeling, or the confidence that you have inside that what you have is enough. Those are not musical lyrics to an advertiser's ears because advertising is basically built on this concept that your life could be better if you buy what I'm selling. Your life will be richer, fuller, you'll have more this, more that, more dates, more likes on social media, more convenience, more money, if you'll just buy my product. What they're trying to say is you shouldn't be content until you have my product. But God says you should be content, whether you have their product or not.

I get that from Philippians 4:10-12. Take what the Apostle Paul has to say to heart, because this man knew contentment. He says, "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Let me summarize. Apparently, the Philippians hadn't expressed concern for Paul. Well, they at least lost touch for whatever reason. They reconnected and then they were able to express to Paul the concern that they always had. Paul was not saying to them, "I'm glad you're concerned about me because I have a need, and now I need to leverage you for some of my need to be met." Not that that would be wrong, but he's saying that that wasn't even the purpose. Rather he, he says that he has learned to be content, at ease inside, at peace inside with what he has.

Paul said, "I have learned the secret of contentment." What is the secret of contentment? It is that whatever you have before God is enough. You might say, "Oh, but God doesn't understand. I need this." God does understand. You don't need this. "Yeah, but if I had that I'd be happier." God says that will not make you happier. You and I must remember that whatever God gives us is right, and whatever we have, if we're living right and we're not squandering away through sinful living (That's a whole 'nother subject), but for striving to live for God, whatever we have is what God wants us to have. In that we should be content.
 
Can you be content with what you have? Paul said another place in the Bible that if we have food and clothing we should be content. He didn't even mention shelter. How many of us have food, clothing, and shelter? Almost all of us here in America. You must learn to be content. The secret to being content is to say, "God, you give me what I need." Here's another secret to being content: "Jesus, you're enough." Could it be that God is keeping things from us because he wants us to realize that Jesus is enough? Jesus is enough. He's everything we need. Everything else is gravy, or, as they say in New Orleans, lagniappe, which means extra. It's all gravy. Can you be content in Jesus Christ, or do you need something to be content in Jesus Christ? If we need something to be content in Jesus Christ, we're not fully content in Jesus Christ. I want to encourage you to find your contentment in Christ. Then, everything else is lagniappe, gravey.

Father, help me, help all of us reading this life lifter to remember that our contentment is in you. Help us to learn the secret of contentment when we have, and when we don't have. When we're in need, and when we have plenty. Whatever it is, help us to learn contentment, that our contentment is found in seeing life through your eyes and remembering that Jesus Christ is enough. I pray that for me and for all my friends reading this life lifter in Jesus' name, amen.

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